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Broke-Ass Grouch's Posts


Why Broke-Ass is a patriot

Long may it wave.Photo: Luigi AnzivinoOh, say -- can you see, by the dawn's early light? Broke-Ass can, though when her electricity gets turned off tomorrow, that's about the only light by which Broke-Ass and the crew at the Rancho will be seeing anything. God Bless America! Yet, in spite of the blunt reality that she is flat-out cashless until her book comes out (July 12!) -- and that she lives in a country in which corporate interests threaten to trump availability of safe drinking water; in which there is neither decent, affordable health nor child care; in which fair …

Read more: Cities, Family


Too chicken: Why and how to raise chickens in the city

No matter how broke you are, chickens can help you keep some dignity about you.Photo: Stu MayhewWhen last we fetched up, babydolls, Broke-Ass was waxing pedantic about the primacy of stocking the pantry as nutritiously and cheaply as possible. One alert soul commented: "Where are the eggs? Nature's most perfect food with as many ways to fix them as your imagination can accommodate." A flawless observation, "jjfahl"! As it happens, Broke-Ass has so many damn eggs that, at times, she feels that she might prefer to shove bamboo shoots underneath her fingernails than to sup upon another oeuf. This is …


Stocking the Broke-Ass pantry, and the magical three-day chicken

Making great meals from bubkes is easy when you do it the Broke-Ass way!Broke-Ass has often been asked how she feeds her family of five on bubkes. The answer is: Shop as little as possible, and buy what only what you must, as cheaply as possible. Cutting down on marketing means you not only have more time to earn a damn living, but it also compels you to make -- or grow -- the stuff that you would have bought pre-made or -grown when you did make a damn living. DIY saves money. Back when Broke-Ass was unconcerned with saving …

Read more: Cities, Family, Food


Drinking problem

Get freaked about hydrofracking: now!

Like the sign says.Photo: Not an AlternativeBabydolls, behold the obvious: The situation in Japan is horrendous. Indeed, it trumps anything else that might previously have fallen under the aegis of horrendous. Having said that, there is another horrendous environmental threat that is gearing up to gush out of our collective faucets right here in the United States, and maybe even blow them up: hydrofracking. Hydrofracking -- short for "hydraulic fracturing" -- is a widespread technique deployed by natural gas companies in which a huge volume of chemicals, sand, and water are pumped underground to break apart rock and release gas. …

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy


You Don't Have to Grow Up

On eco-architecture and urban farming: Are you kidding me with your f-ing farm skyscraper?

Find a place, do some work, grow some stuff: it ain't rocket science.Photo: Tracie LeeJust last summer, Broke-Ass was invited to speak on a panel at the New York Horticultural Society with such luminaries of the environmental architectural movement as Amale Andraos and Dan Wood of WORK Architecture Co.; Fritz Haeg, artist, Edible Estates; and the esteemed James Wines of SITE. Broke-Ass was supposed to be there to make intellectual distinctions between Baby Boomers' self-aggrandizing revolutions and Generation X's more practical, local movements, since this is thought to be one of her areas of expertise. But as she sat there …


Necessity is a mother

Memo to ecovores: It’s cheaper being green

Chickens can also keep your hands warm when it's cold out.Photo: Courtesy Broke-Ass GrouchListen up, locavores, opportunivores, dumpster-diving fermentation fetishists, and Dave Matthews Band fans: A great many of us live by the same ecologically sound principles that you do. We, however, are not doing so because we nurture an abiding desire to "create choices" for ourselves or to "live intentionally." We don't have any more than a passing interest in "sustaining biodiversity." We are known as poor people. We grow our own fruits and vegetables because we can't afford to buy them at the market, never mind green co-ops. …

Read more: Cities, Food, Living